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DALLAS Three women have been attacked in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas since February 22. Police now say DNA has ruled out a suspect in the first of those sexual assaults.

For the first time, investigators said all three victims were white women between the ages of 23 and 33. .

Officers also complained the neighborhoods where they're patrolling around the clock are very dark. Policeurged homeownerstoturn on exterior lights at night and reportany street light outages to 311.

Neighbors fearing another attack are taking action to protect themselves.

A hastily-called meeting Wednesday night to update the public on efforts to solve these crimes became more of a self-defense workshop, with officers askingNick Chamberlain, a self-defense expert, to providetechniquesto residents for fending off potential assailants.

Some Lake Highlands residents said they're buying guns for protection; others say they are considering moving out of the Northeast Dallas neighborhood.

Earlier on Wednesday, Dallas police revealed that a man who had been suspected in a February 22 sex assault is no longer considered a suspect based on DNA evidence.

That leaves detectives wondering if they are searching for one man or three different suspects.

Dallas police are offering a free home security survey to Lake Highlands residents who want advice about how to harden their homes to prevent intruders. Call 214-671-0155 or 214-671-0160 to schedule an appointment.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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